Day 12 - Departure

It's here. The final day. Everyone woke up early in the morning to meet at 6AM at the Target parking lot.
Group photo with the Ikata and Red Wing students. Perhaps we will see some of these Red Wing students next year (or years to come)?!
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Group photo with Ikata and Red Wing students, host families, chaperones, Sister City commission members, and other participants. Thank you for everything!
The last goodbye was unfortunately quick. The students and host families were trying hard to contain their tears, while assuring each other they would see each other again. This is definitely the hardest part of staying with a host family: the farewell.

Fortunately, our connecting flight from Minnesota arrived early so our one-hour layover in Chicago did not consist of running (phew!) to our gate to Japan. Maggie (I) had to say goodbye to the students as she was heading off to visit family in her hometown.

The students have certainly grown this past month. I am certainly excited to see where this experience will lead them in the future and I pray that everyone will be able to see each other again in the future. Please try your best with your foreign language skills!!

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